Michael Jordan is one of the most explosive and prolific scorers in NBA history. He became even more popular for his spectacular moves, which included dunks that combined power and artistry. During his 15 seasons as the best player in the league, he produced some of the most impressive dunks basketball fans have ever seen. Some of these thrilling dunks were against NBA legends, some of whom are known to be great defenders.
Jordan not only instilled fear in his opponents through his trash talk and ability to back him up. He disrupted defenses with clutch shots and sometimes game-changing dunks.
Here are some of Michael Jordan’s best dunks from the game
#5 Michael Jordan shoves the ball past Alonzo Mourning
On March 12, 1993, the Chicago Bulls played at home against the young Charlotte Hornets led by Alonzo Mourning. The former Georgetown De La Hoya quickly earned a reputation as one of the best defenders and rim protectors in his first year in the NBA. In his rookie season, Mourning averaged 3.5 blocks per game.
Three months before that night, “Zo” had been turned down three times against the Bulls, including one against Jordan. “MJ” probably remembers that block and couldn’t wait to get back at Mourning.
Michael Jordan was running at full speed when he caught a pass from Scottie Pippen’s left elbow. Just before Alonzo Mourning found his feet and delivered the ball with authority, “his aura” soared. Jordan screamed passionately after dunking.
#4 Jordan beats Utah Jazz legend Mark Eaton by one shot
Mark Eaton was a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and led the league in blocks four times. The 7-foot-4 center was the backbone of the Utah Jazz defense from 1982-83 to 1992-93. It was inevitable that he and Michael Jordan would meet at the basket.
During one of their games, the 6-foot-6 Chicago Bulls guard reached high and used both hands to beat Utah’s legendary defender. Even Jazz fans stood up in surprise after Jordan sprinted past Eaton.
#3 Michael Jordan slams Manute Bol
At 7-foot-7, Manute Bol was once the tallest player in the NBA. He led the league in scoring twice in his career, including an impressive 5.0 points per game in 1985-86.
Bol was still with the Golden State Warriors when he had a thrilling back-and-forth with “his air.” The lanky center held off Jordan and Pippen in this game.
The Bulls’ resident high-flyer ended up taking a shot to Manute Bol before the game ended.
#2 Jordan shakes his finger at Dikembe Mutombo
During the 1997 All-Star Game, Atlanta Hawks defensive centerpiece Dikembe Mutombo pointed out to teammates that Michael Jordan never idolized him. The four-time Defensive Player of the Year even called Jordan teammate Scottie Pippen to prove his point.
A month later, Michael Jordan scored against Mutombo in Game 5 of the playoffs. “His momentum” slammed the ball in front of Mutombo and imitated the center’s signature finger wag.
It was one of the coolest moments in basketball history, and both Jordan and Mutombo have fond memories of it.
Michael Jordan’s No. 1 most “memorable” dunk is the 1991 playoff win over Patrick Ewing
Patrick Ewing and Michael Jordan have been dating each other since their days as college superstars. Ewing was a big-time star for the Georgetown Hoyas, while Jordan was a member of Dean Smith’s star-studded North Carolina team.
The two competed in the NBA during Hall of Fame careers. During Game 3 of the 1991 playoffs between the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks, Jordan executed what he called his favorite dunk of all time.
Knicks players John Starks and Charles Oakley trapped Jordan in the corner. However, “Air Jordan” managed to fool both of them, then stood on tiptoes for a Thunder dunk over Patrick Ewing.
A few years later, Jordan said of that dunk:
(1 minute 25 seconds mark)
“The most memorable dunk that I always think about is Patrick Ewing. That’s because Patrick and I are very good friends.”
“I told him, ‘Georgetown guys don’t block shots. All they do is take charges. I dunked on him so hard, it was unbelievable. Every time I see him, that’s the first thing I think about him. .”